Observations From My First LSU Game
I graduated from LSU at the end of the last century after six years, and even though my journey to getting my bachelors degree was longer than it should have been (and the reason I grant to all high school graduates the pearl of wisdom GO TO CLASS so they too don’t end up spending the next 25 years paying off the student loans that got them nothing but a general studies degree and a Calvin and Hobbes tattoo) I don’t think I ever made it to a football game in that time.
Well, maybe I did, but if I did, I don’t remember, and if that doesn’t sum up my college years in a nutshell, I don’t know what does.
Fast forward a couple of decades, and low and behold, it turns out the children I birthed are into sports. Very into sports. Very into college football. Mix that with visits to the LSU campus whenever my brother comes to town, and, well, you can see how I ended up in this situation:
Taking my kids to an LSU football game.
I’m really the weird one in my extended family, not my kids. I’m the one who doesn’t care about any football, much less LSU football. The one who didn’t even consider the game schedule when I was planning my fall wedding. My sister had gotten married the fall prior and scheduled the wedding for a bye week, so I assume someone was paying attention when we picked the date.
All of this is to say, when I took the boys to an LSU game this past weekend, I had no idea what to expect. So I asked for advice on Facebook, and was told where I should park (I got more DMs than comments on the post – no one was giving away their secret parking location to the whole world!), to be sure to catch the band going to the stadium, and that I’d need a clear purse.
But as we made the trek from our far away spot (but stress-free and free-free and easy to get home from) I realized I was in for a shock. And not just because WHAT is going on with the lakes?
Intellectually, I knew that Tiger Stadium holds 100,000 people. And I knew the game was sold out. I just wasn’t prepared for what 100,000 people looked like around the campus.
Well. It was a lot of people. A lot of purple.
I’ve taken the boys to sporting events before. Professional soccer matches, Pelicans games, and yes, a Saints game. None of those prepared me for this.
So many people! I knew there would be tailgating, but if I’m honest, I just assumed that it meant some RVs in a parking lot on the edge of campus with grills and coolers of beer. But no! Tailgaters were set up all over campus, not just in parking lots. Everyone said to see the band go down Victory Hill. Yeah, not this time. The crowds lining the road were Endymion-thick there. We would have had to line up before dawn. I’m glad I never attempted this when the boys were younger, I’d have had a heart attack trying to keep them together in the crowds.
Some various observations from the day:
- The ramps up to the nosebleed seats are eternal and never ending. Well, eventually they end. But time loses meaning as you go up and up and up, back and forth, it’s like taking the Carrollton exit to Costco.
- It gets cold up there. I mean, yes, it was a night game in November so this should not have been a surprise. But as one of my sons pointed out, the higher you are, the colder it gets, so it was practically arctic up in Section All-The-Way-Up-There, Row Q.
- The bleachers weren’t as uncomfortable as I feared they’d be.
- The band is incredible! I admit I got some goosebumps when they played Hey Fightin’ Tigers and might have even felt a tiny bit of pride to be an alum.
- I am a massive snob and had to cover my face whenever they played “calling Baton Rouge,” which was often.
- I’m apparently allergic to Baton Rouge now because I sneezed approximately 400 times over the course of the day.
- The boys were unimpressed by the stories I told them when we passed my old apartment, or the first Cane’s, or the bars where I drank amaretto sours and the other sickly sweet mixed drinks I thought were the height of sophistication as an 18 year old (hey, this was before the drinking age changed.)
I suspect this will not be my last LSU game. I predict the boys will want to go again next year, and this time I will know what to expect. And if I feel a flicker of pride when we cream the opponents, well, no one needs to know.